Friday, November 13, 2009

A chicken wing alternative

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book Copyright 2008

1 pound ground white meat chicken
1/2 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup parsley, chopped I used some dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
3 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream I used lite
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
A couple of handfuls celery sticks
A couple of handfuls carrot sticks

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken with the onion, garlic and parsley, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Flatten out the meat in the bowl and score it into four portions using the side of your hand. Shape each portion into four balls – you should have sixteen meatballs in total. I used my scoop and got more.

Arrange the meatballs on a nonstick sheet pan and drizzle them with EVOO. Place in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the hot sauce and whisk to combine. Toss the baked meatballs in the hot sauce to coat.

Mix together the buttermilk, sour cream, blue cheese and most of the chopped scallions.

Transfer the meatballs to a serving platter and spike each one with a toothpick or serving fork. Place the bleu cheese dressing in a small serving bowl and garnish with the remaining scallions. Serve the meatballs with the bleu cheese dressing, celery and carrot sticks alongside.

I love chicken wings but no matter how you make them (fried, baked, whatever) they are kind of a pain to make at home. This meatball version is much friendlier. It's easier to make these for a party (I made the meatballs ahead of time, froze them, then reheated them in the oven while I made the sauce). While I would never make a weeknight meal out of chicken wings, I served these for dinner, even though they were designated as an appetizer in the cookbook.

If you are looking for lighter appetizers to serve, these are a good choice if you make this dressing with light ingredients or buy a light blue cheese dressing. They are not super-light (there is butter involved) but definitely a step up from regular wings and that delicious but decadent buffalo chicken dip that is so popular. Also, these have less sugar than most meatball appetizer recipes.

I wasn't thrilled with this blue cheese dressing. It was okay but not the best. I prefer this one that my baked chicken wing recipe used. Not surprisingly, when I went to RR's site, the recipe called for prepared blue cheese dressing which I would also prefer. That is one thing I've noticed about RR's recipes - they always seem to be slightly different between her books and her site.

I almost forgot to add this to my ground chicken recipe list.

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite hot sauce? As much as I love Frank's, I've been buying most Crystal since it's less expensive.


CannedAm said...

I was so excited to find this recipe and finally try it out tonight. I would LOVE a lower fat version of chicken wings. Sadly, this isn't it. The meatballs are absolutely flavourless without the sauce (and really needed to soak in it for awhile to adopt that flavour). Sad :( My quest continues ;)

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Hmm, I guess we're 1-1 (or 2-1) if you count me. I though the meatballs were flavorful enough with all that onion, garlic, salt and pepper (I don't think the dried parsley added much flavor) but one quick look at a list of reviews on any recipe will tell you that everyone has different tastes when it comes to recipes. I do agree that these would be better after soaking in the sauce for a while (as any meatball would).

Sadly, I don't think there is a GREAT low-fat substitute for chicken wings. The skin is the best (and worst) part!

Star_EAtl said...

My bf and I loved this recipe. I chopped up the celery and scallions and mixed them in with the ground chicken. I also added a few tablespoons of ranch dressing and about a 1/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs to the meatball mixture. YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

Marcie said...

I adapted the recipe so that it was more diet friendly and it was a big hit. I baked the chicken meatballs in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes then threw them in the crock pot with light butter (only 50 calories/tablespoon) and the hot sauce for a couple of hours. Very good. We had them on hotdog buns with a big salad with prepared blue cheese dressing.

Anonymous said...

I added blue cheese crumbles, bread brumbs, and a teaspoon of wingsauce to the meatball mixture to add flavor. I also wisked wing sauce into the EVOO and used it to drizzle the meatballs.

Rach said...

Made these tonight and they were delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I used all of the suggestions. I used celery and a litle bread crumbs. I stuffed them with bleu cheese crumbles. Baked them and tossed them in wing sauce. I found a wing sauce that doesn't have any fat grams or calories, so it's low calorie chiken balls. For my boyfriend I put it on a haogie, ranch and cheese! YUM!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Blue cheese in the middle of these sounds really good. I should revisit this recipe soon.

low carb recipes said...

Saw this on reddit, looks pretty tasty, I never thought of chicken meat balls before and im sure i have never seen ground chicken, Ill have to look harder

Dread Pirate Davi said...

I used a Martha Stewart recipe where the meat and sauce were mixed together, then baked. HATED IT. I'm trying this one. CannedAM, maybe try using a buffalo seasoning on the meat before baking it? I plan on trying it this way and with some Buffalo Rub from Pampered Chef.

CannedAm said...

That's a good idea, Pirate Davy. Let us know how it turns out. I'm willing to give it a shot!

Anonymous said...

I made these for the first time tonight - I added some parm cheese and oregano and then stuck them under the broiler. I didn't make any sauce for them and they were pretty good all by themselves. I thought I'd try a little greek mint yogurt dip with them tomorrow....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe. It was easy to make and a nice change from my usual chicken recipes. Enjoyed it!

Ashley said...

I just saw this recipe when I did a google search. I had to tweak it a little, and it turned out AMAZING. i didn't have any garlic so I subbed with garlic powder. I added 3 tbsp of panko breadcrumbs to the chicken mixture because it was just really sticky and unmanageable. For the sauce, I mixed 1/4 cup Sriracha and 1/4 cup Valentina's extra hot sauce and the butter and also added in about 2 tsp of honey to give it a bit of a tang :)

weasy71 said...

Made these but added some freshly grated Parm Reg to the meat before cooking. Not a whole lot..a little Parm goes along way and they were great!

Anonymous said...

For a variation on this recipe I made this into a chicken meat loaf.I added one egg, 3 slices of chopped bread cubes and mixed the hot sauce into it and baked it for 40 mins( about ) at 350 F. It was ahuge hit with my guys :)